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What Is Clevidipine?

Jacquelyn Gilchrist
Jacquelyn Gilchrist

Clevidipine is a medication that may be prescribed for certain patients with hypertension, or high blood pressure. This drug is classified as a calcium channel blocker, which means that it works by relaxing the blood vessels to allow for greater blood circulation. The result is that the patient's blood pressure is lowered; however, clevidipine is only intended to be part of a comprehensive treatment program. Doctors will also advise their patients to lower their blood pressure through regular exercise and a low-sodium diet.

This calcium channel blocker medicine is only available as an injection, which is administered by a healthcare professional. While in the hospital, the patient's heart rate and blood pressure will be observed in order to monitor the effects of the drug. The patient may need an additional dose no sooner than eight hours following the initial injection. Whenever possible, the doctor will switch the patient to an oral hypertension medication after a desirable blood pressure has been achieved.


There is a risk of serious side effects with clevidipine, particularly right after a dose has been administered. Some patients may experience a rapid heartbeat and hypotension, which is low blood pressure. Hypotension may result in fainting, dizziness, and nausea, along with cold, clammy skin and blurred vision. Rapid, shallow breathing, fatigue, and excessive thirst may also occur. Patients who experience possible hypotension should alert their doctor immediately.

Other serious side effects may also occur from the use of clevidipine. Those who experience unusual mood changes, drowsiness, and feeling short of breath should notify the doctor immediately. Clevidipine may also cause loss of appetite, rapid weight gain, and swelling. Confusion, decreased urination, and feeling short of breath have also been reported. Some patients have experienced unusual sweating, chest pain, and pain that spreads to the arm or shoulder.

Before using clevidipine, patients must disclose their other medical conditions, medications, and supplements to avoid an adverse reaction. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should discuss the potential risks with their doctors as it is unknown whether this drug may harm a nursing infant or an unborn baby. Those with allergies to eggs or egg products, as well as soybeans or any soy products should not use clevidipine, because they may experience an allergic reaction.

Clevidipine may be contraindicated for use by those with pancreatitis, high cholesterol, and high levels of triglycerides. Those with certain kidney disorders, heart disease, or an adrenal gland tumor, as well as aortic stenosis may also be unable to use this high blood pressure medicine. This drug may interact with other medications, including beta-blockers and other drugs that treat high blood pressure.

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